Project Natick

Project Natick seeks to understand the benefits and difficulties in deploying subsea datacenters worldwide. Microsoft have now deployed a full-scale datacenter module in the North Sea, powered by renewable energy

Our Involvement

Tech giant Microsoft has sunk a data centre in the sea off Orkney powered by renewable energy, and OptaNet are proud to have been associated with such a ground-breaking project.

By utilising the sea, Microsoft have a free and accessible resource for cooling, something that is costly when on-land. The data centre is 40ft in length containing 864 servers. The centre could be left in the sea for up to five years.

Cindy Rose, the UK Chief Executive Officer for the technology giant, said “Despite being as powerful as several thousand high-end consumer PCs, the data centre uses minimal energy as it’s naturally cooled.”

Much like the Microsoft Marea Project, OptaNet were on-hand to provide our expertise and to guarantee that this project was delivered successfully.

David Elliott, OptaNet Managing Director commented “We have a long-standing relationship with Microsoft, going back to 1998. As such, we were well positioned to assist in such as revolutionary project such as this.”

Datacentre Facts

More than half of the world’s population lives within about 120 miles of the coast. By putting datacentres in bodies of water near coastal cities, data would have a short distance to travel to reach coastal communities, leading to fast and smooth web surfing, video streaming and game playing as well as authentic experiences for AI-driven technologies

Length (feet)



Power Consumption (Kw)

Why choose OptaNet?

OptaNet is an award winning, full service ISP and a major player in the events industry. What makes us unique is that our engineers have over 20 years working in both the ISP and events sector. This means we have unrivalled knowledge of venues, high-density connectivity, internet circuits and have the experience to identify and solve issues before they become event affecting.

Since 1998 we have been successfully delivering the core network and other related services for Microsoft. In 2016 our experience was vital to the US Presidential Election, and the Iowa Caucus. We have also delivered for eSports where we provided our services for Dota 2 The International. An event with $20 million in prize money and a live stream of the sold out event at the Key Arena in Seattle to 500 cinemas throughout the US.

We also work directly with venues to help them improve their existing in-house infrastructure and can act as a on-site resource for any major events.

For more information or to speak to someone please contact OptaNet on 0203 475 3611 or email


A couple of comments

We know when we have done a good job. It’s because we’re not noticed. We work behind the scenes so attendees have a seamless experience. Occasionally, some of our clients get in touch with us.

We can’t do an event without OptaNet! Brilliant team and support to make sure all of our network needs are taken care of even with citywides of +12,000 attendees!

Allison Magyar

President, Dynamic Events

OptaNet delivered a reliable and efficient service for all of our internet needs during a five-day auction. Communication between us and their team was strong and friendly throughout, with us feeling as though were guided every step of the way through a process which otherwise would have been relatively unknown and no doubt problematic for us.. When a last-minute issue with our audio and visual needs arose, they also happily stepped in and offered us an easy solution despite it being so close to the deadline. I would be happy to recommend OptaNet to any of our colleagues in the industry in need of a similar set-up and hope to work with them again soon.

Caroline Dennard

European Ceramics and Militaria Department, Halls